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Sabra Express | Fog of War

US Demands Israeli Accountability for Death of Teenager in IDF Jenin Operation

Tovah Lazaroff, Jerusalem Post, December 12th, 2022


Recap:

The United States criticized Israel for a shooting that killed a 16-year-old Palestinian girl during clashes between Palestinian gunmen and Israeli forces in Jenin.


The Context:

· The IDF has been carrying out near-nightly raids in the West Bank following a wave of attacks that left 17 Israelis dead [1]. The raids have focused on the northern West Bank cities of Jenin and Nablus, where Palestinian armed resistance is growing [2].

· The raid was aimed at arresting Palestinians suspected of recent shooting attacks and those involved in terror organizations [3]. The IDF said that an initial review of the incident found a "high probability" that Jana Zakarneh was killed by the accidental fire of IDF soldiers directed at Palestinian gunmen during battle.

· A general strike was declared in Jenin following the killing and hundreds took to the street to protest [4] with Palestinian terror group Islamic Jihad opening fire and hurling explosives at Israeli troops [5].

· Prime Minister Yair Lapid expressed condolences for the killing of Zakarna but Benny Gantz was more pointed saying, “unlike those who stand by the roads with weapons, stones, and Molotov cocktails, waiting for an opportunity to murder Israeli girls and boys, women, elderly and children, IDF soldiers do not shoot deliberately at uninvolved people.” [6]

· In 2022, the IDF recorded 300 attempts against Israeli civilians and soldiers in the West Bank, compared to 91 last year [7]. Zakarneh’s death brings the total number of Palestinians killed in the West Bank in 2022 to 166, a level not seen in more than a decade. Israel says most killed have been militants. Israel has also recorded the highest number of deaths from Palestinian attacks this year in nearly 20 years, with 31 killed [8].


Conversation Points:

· Are other countries held to the same standard as Israel when it comes to civilian casualties during a conflict?

· How can armies better protect civilians during military engagements fought in close quarters?

· Does the death of a civilian negate the validity of a military operation?


Notes:

1. Israel says likely killed Palestinian girl in error, BBC, December 12th, 2022

2. Israeli forces kill Palestinian teen in occupied West Bank raid, Al Jazeera, December 12th, 2022

3. IDF says sniper likely mistakenly killed Palestinian girl during Jenin raid, Emanuel Fabian, Times of Israel, December 12th, 2022

4. Israeli military admits shooting 16-year-old Palestinian girl, calls it ‘unintentional’, Hadas Gold, CNN, December 12th, 2022

5. IDF says sniper likely mistakenly killed Palestinian girl during Jenin raid, Emanuel Fabian, Times of Israel, December 12th, 2022

6. Ibid.

7. Ibid.

8. Israeli military admits shooting 16-year-old Palestinian girl, calls it ‘unintentional’, Hadas Gold, CNN, December 12th, 2022


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